The Missouri House of Representatives is currently reviewing bill HB498 proposed by Rep. Cynthia Davis. If passed, the bill would provide a $600 per year scholarship for mothers who choose to stay home with their children. The bill is a response to the federal government providing a tax credit for daycare, but not any credit or compensation for stay at home moms.
The thought behind the bill is honorable- that women can, after their stay at home duty is done, go back to school and get an education, which will enable them to get back into the workforce more easily.
This is, I think, interesting enough for folks to be talking about. Equally interesting is what is missing from the bill. Namely the same treatment for stay at home fa thers. They were purposefully left off of the bill. The reason for this is explained eloquently by Mrs. Davis.
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"Women are built-in nurturers"
She goes on to explain t hat women can, you know, breast-feed and stuff.
Now, I would be insulted by this, but frankly I'm not looking for a scholarship anyway. Every year, as you probably are aware, salary.com publishes an estimate of what the stay at home parent should be making based on current market values of the services they perform. It's alw ays healthily into the six figure range. Now, once THAT is on the table I'll get excited. Hell, I'll even pretend to nurture my kid once and a while for it.
For that kind of cash I might even be able to lactate.
Still, what is it about us that makes us want to put a dollar amount on everything we do? With every load of laundry, every diaper change, and every push of the steam mop I'm really not thinking about how much I should be getting paid to do something- I consider it a privilege and an honor to be serving my family in such a way. Most days. Some days I'd pay someone $600 to take this mess off my hands.
How about you?